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State Street Trust Company, 
Boston 

Some Merchants and Sea Captains 
of Old Boston 




THE LIBRARY 

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THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

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SOME 

MERCHANTS A>D SEA CAPTAINS 

OF 

OLD BOSTON 



BEING 
A COLLECTIOX OF SKETCHES OF 

XO TABLE MEX AXn JIERCAXTILE HOUSES 

PROMIXEXT DURIXG THE EARLT HALF 

OF THE NINETEENTH CENTCRX 

IN THE 

COMMERCE AND SHIPPING 

OF BOSTON 



PRISTED FOR THE 



^tatr ^trrrt arust (rmti;jang 

BOSTON. MASS. 



C"opvRK;in. igi8 

ItV THE 
STATE SIRKF. r TRUST COMPANY 



Tlie headpiece above the article on Russell Sturgis is drawn from 

the picture of "India Wharf in 1857" through the courtesy of 

F. B. C. Bradlee, Esq. 



(Compiled, arranged and printed by direction of 

If'a/ton /Advertising y Printing Co. 

Boston, Mass. 



767 
FOREWORD 



/4 1" the beginning of the last century and well towards its fifties 

/ % lumbering, fishing, ship-building and whaling were the principal 
/ % industries of New England. On most of the harbours, upon 
many of the navigable rivers and creeks, could be heard the 
sound of the caulker's maul at work on vessels large and small, 
schooners, sloops, barks, and clippers in all stages of construction. 
Few there are who thought these days would ever return, but time 
often plays strange tricks. Those who travel between New York and 
Boston, or between Boston and Portland or beyond, can see from the 
car windows ships on the ways at many a small town that has hereto- 
fore been asleep for years, but that now bustles with the activities of 
ship-building. Often five or six ships side by side may be seen, — ships 
of a different build from those of the older days, but capable of again 
carrying the names of New England merchants. New England cap- 
tains, and New England towns into the harbours of the world as did 
the clippers of almost a century ago. To-day from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific ships are being launched at a greater rate than ever before in 
the history of this country. 

It is because of this renaissance in maritime affairs that the State 
Street Trust Company this year has prepared another pamphlet which 
smacks of the sea. This brochure contains a short account of the 
lives of some of Boston's merchants and captains who did so much to 
build up the commercial interests of Boston and New England, and 
who helped to make the Eastern States a synonym for daring business 
enterprise and skilful seamanship. 

There are many other merchants and captains of Boston who ought 
to be included in this pamphlet, but it has been impossible to do so 
owing to the limited space, and also because of the fact that the 
compilers were unable to find sufficient information concerning many 
of them. In next year's brochure the State Street Trust Company 
hopes to include other Boston merchants and captains, with stories 
or anecdotes concerning their lives, and would therefore very much 
appreciate it if any one having any diaries, information, or stories in 
regard to members of their families, would be so kind as to confer with 
the officers of the Company. 

It hopes that an insight into the old days may prove interesting, 
and will carry the reader back to the time when the shores of Boston 
were alive with ships just arrived or about to sail; when the " counting- 
houses " — for they were never called offices — covered the wharves; 
when shipping held the centre of interest on State Street and Commer- 
cial Street; and when at almost any hour of the day could be seen on 
Telegraph Hill, at Hull, from the cupola on Central Wharf, and from 



1023978 



FOREWORD 



the cupola on the Old State House the signals announcing a new 
arrival in the harbour. 

The Company also hopes that ihesc stories and deeds of our an- 
cestors will prove an inspiration to the youths of to-day to choose the 
sea as their calling, and to help man the large fleet of merchant vessels 
that the Government will own after the war, and which all loyal 
Amrricatis, even those living in the inland States, nozv knozv should be 
kef^t under our flag for the future tveljare and protection of our country. 
England's large merchant marine helped to prevent her from starving, 
and also made it possible for the United States to turn the tide of battle 
by assisting in carrying abroad two-thirds of the American Army up to 
August 15, 1918. Americans must therefore realize the value of the 
merchant marine to this country in peace and in war, and should see 
that Congress passes laws that will enable our ships to live on the seas 
on a basis comparing favorably with those of other countries. 

To the following persons who have rendered much valuable assist- 
ance in compiling this pamphlet the State Street Trust Company de- 
sires to extend its thanks: Captain Arthur H. Clark, Otto Fleischner 
and other officers of the Boston Public Library; Charles F. Read of 
the Bostonian Society; Robert B. Smith of the Marine Museum; 
Francis R. Allen, Edwin F. Atkins, Louis Bacon, W. P. Barker, 
Charles A. Barry, T. Dennie Boardman, Robert A. Boit, F. B. C. 
Bradlee, John K. Burgess, George E. Cabot, Samuel Cabot, 
Samuel W. Comstock, Horace S. Crowell, Henry W. Cunningham. 
Frederic Cunningham, Mrs. E. A. Dolliver, Captain Oscar G. Eaton. 
William C. Endicott, Chester Guild, William F. Halsall, Alpheus H. 
Hardy, Arthur Sherburne Hardy, Charles A. Hardy, Miss Susan W. 
Hardy, Augustus Hemenway, Augustus Hemenway, Jr., Paul K. 
Hisada, Osborne Howes, Prof. T. Makino, Prof. Mizusaki, Lester H. 
Monks, H. S. O. Nichols, J. W. T. Nichols, Russell Sturgis Paine, Mrs. 
Charles E. Perkins, William F. Searle, J. H. Shapleigh, F. W. Sprague, 
Morgan H. Stafford, John H. Sturgis, C. H. Taylor, Jr., T. C. Thacher, 
Barclay Tilton, R. E. Townsend, Herman A. Train, Mrs. Franklin M. 
Train, Captain N. B. Washburn, Dr. F. S. Watson, Thomas Weston, 
William G. Wheildon, T. T. Whitney, T. T. Whitney, Jr. 

ALLAN FORBES, 

President State Street Trust Company. 

Janu.\ry 1, 1919. 



THE OLD CLIPPER DAYS 

JULIAN S. CUTLER 

The old Clipper days were jolly, when we sailed the Seven 

Seas, 
And the house-flags of our merchant ships were whipped by 

every breeze; 
It was good-by to your mother and the pretty girls on shore, 
For we're off around the howling Horn, bound down to 

Singapore. 

We romped the rushing trade-winds, and we raced the big 

monsoon; 
We carried reeling royals from Manila to Rangoon; 
We were chased by Aialay pirates from Natura to Penang, 
And we drove her scuppers under to outsail the cut-throat 

gang. 

We went rolling in "The Doldrums" till the tar oozed from 

our seams; 
We went pushing through the ice-pack till the pressure 

cracked our beams; 
And old Mother Carey's chickens wheeled around us o'er the 

brine. 
While we entertained Old Neptune when he hailed up on the 

line. 

Those were days to be remembered, when our good ship 

sailed away, 
From the old home port behind us, to Calcutta or Bombay; 
When we sold the Heathen nations rum and opium in rolls, 
And the Missionaries went along to save their sinful souls. 

It was "Bundle out, my bullies, and we'll give the sheets a 

pull"; 
It was "Ease her off a little, till the topsails stand rap full"; 
It was "Scrub the decks, my Jackies, and we'll take the sun 

at noon"; 
It was "Sou'-sou'-west-half-south, my boy, beneath the 

Southern moon." 

We raced across to Africa with "dicker" in the hold; 

We traded beads and calico for ivory and gold; 

We raised the Northern Dipper as we sunk the Southern 

Cross, 
And when we figured up the run the owners felt no loss. 

Then 'twas "Home again, my bullies," with our bows knee- 
deep in foam, 

To the mother that was waiting and the happy ones at home; 

It was home from old Calcutta or Hong Kong or far Bombay, 

To the land we loved to think of when our hearts were far 
away. 




SOME MERCHANTS AND SEA 
CAPTAINS OF OLD BOSTON 




RUSSELL STURGIS 

USSELL STURGIS'S grandfather, who bore the same 
name, visited the Daniel Bacons on Cape Cod, and 
while there he met and married Elizabeth, the daugh- 
ter of Mrs. James Perkins. Mrs. Perkins was the 
daughter of Thomas Handasyd Peck, who left some 
interesting letters concerning the lives of the Boston- 
ians of the early days. Of her it is related that during the Revolu- 
tionary War there was much sickness among the English troops in 
Boston and the English general was advised to get assistance from 
Mrs. Perkins, who was known to be very capable. She replied, as was 
quite natural at that time, that she would aid them " as sick men but 
by no means as soldiers." After the war Mrs. Perkins and her son-in- 
law returned from the Cape to Boston. 

Russell Sturgis, the grandson and well-known Boston and Canton 
merchant, was born in Boston in 1805, went to Harvard at the age of 
twelve, and in 1828 made his first voyage abroad in the " Boston," 
with only two fellow-passengers. He had settled down in this city 
as a young lawyer and would probably have continued in this 
profession had he not overheard John P. Cushing speak of the 
unwillingness of a certain person to go to China. "I wish I had 
that chance offered me," remarked Sturgis. In a few days the oppor- 
tunity was given to him by Mr. Cushing and he sailed for Canton 
in 1833. 

Eventually Sturgis entered the firm of Russell & Sturgis of Manila 
and Russell, Sturgis & Co. of Canton, and in 1840 the latter house 
consolidated with Russell & Co., Mr. Warren Delano being taken in as 
a member of the firm. Two years later Russell Sturgis became a part- 
ner. The East had a great fascination ior him, and in fact for all 
the men who went out there from Boston. The life there was new and 

1 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

interesting to them, and they assumed great responsibilities; they 
lived a life of great freedom, although they were not allowed to go 
outside the " Factory " reservation. Besides being called " foreign 
devils " they were also described as " a ghostly tribe of barbarians," 
as " uncouth beings with fiery hair," as " a strange people who came 
to the Flowery Kingdom from regions of mist and storm where the 
sun never shines," even as " wild, untamed men whose words are 
rough, and whose language is confused." During the opium war, Rus- 
sell Sturgis's son, Julian Sturgis, who wrote a short memoir of his father, 
describes how each member of Russell & Co. had to do some of the 
housework. Lots were drawn and the duty of cook fell to Capt. R. B. 
Forbes, who was soon deposed from his position by Warren Delano 
for presenting to his fellow-captives a dish of ham and eggs which was 
mistaken for some sort of leather. John C. Green, who was the 
head of Russell & Co., tried his hand at boiled rice, which resembled a 
mass of glue, so the story goes. A. A. Low, father of Seth Low, was 
ordered to set the table after having produced some boiled eggs that 
resembled grape-shot. To kill time they played whist, and hunted 
rats with a terrier, which latter fact led the Chinese to believe that 
the "Fan-Kwae" were holding a continuous feast. Julian Sturgis 
also mentions the Canton Regatta Club, which was founded in 1837, 
thereby causing a protest to be Issued by three of the Co-Hongs, who 
believed that great danger would arise from its formation. The 
protest reads as follows: — 

"On the river boats are mysteriously abundant; everywhere they conpre- 
gate in vast numbers; like a stream they advance and retire unceasingly. 
Thus the chances of contact are many; so are accidents even to the breaking 
of one another's boats, to the injury of men's bodies, while more serious con- 
sequences might ensue! 

HOUQUA, MOUQUA, PwANKEIQUA." 

" More better no go," warned Houqua, In his pigeon English. 

In 1844 Russell Sturgis retired from business and came home to 
Boston to join his children, who had been sent there to school, their 
mother having died in Manila in 1837. Sturgis then married again, 
his wife being Julia A. Bolt, a sister of Robert A. Bolt's mother. 
He found the scale of living in that day more expensive than he had 
expected and therefore decided to return with his family to the East. 
He was to sail on the " Canada " from Boston to London, where he 
was to connect with a ship that was to take him eastward. The 
expressman who brought In the family luggage from Jamaica Plain 
was delayed by an open drawbridge and failed to get to the wharf until 
after the vessel had sailed. Sturgis and his family decided not to sail 
without the luggage and had to wait over for the next boat. It is said 
that when he found the delay occurred through no fault of the express- 
man, he treated the expressman so kindly that the man was so surprised 
and overcome that he Immediately burst into tears. The steamer on 
which they finally crossed did not arrive in London in time to catch the 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

boat sailing eastward, therefore Sturgis and his family had to remain a 
number of weeks in London before making connections. During this 
time he was asked by Mr. Bates, the senior member of Baring Bros. 
& Co., to become a partner in the firm, which position he accepted, 
finally becoming head of the house. It was jokingly said in the 
family that if it had not been for the dilatory expressman Mr. Sturgis 
would never have become head of the firm of Baring Bros. & Co. 
He never returned to this country, dying in England in 1887. 

Mr. Sturgis's genial, hearty, and kindly personality is well remem- 
bered by many Bostonians whom he warmly welcomed and sumptu- 
ously entertained at his town house in Carlton House Terrace and at 
his country place, first at Walton-on-Thames and later at Leatherhead. 
His American guests were often astonished at his up-to-date informa- 
tion, and accurate memory of births, marriages, and deaths among his 
acquaintances in Boston, as he always showed a genuine and constant 
interest in all his friends in this country. He was one of the generous 
contributors to the Boston Art Museum when its new building was 
built in Copley Square by his son John H. Sturgis. 



COLONEL THOMAS HANDASYD PERKINS, T^ 

Colonel Thomas Handasyd Perkins, Jr., son of Colonel Perkins, 
described in last year's pamphlet, was invariably known as " Short- 
arm Tom " because his right arm was a trifle shorter than his left, 
a defect, however, which didn't prevent his " landing " it in the right 
place when occasion demanded. While he was in London there 
was no one skilful enough to box with him and so his friends 
recommended that he go to a curious old African sparrer, named 
Richmond, who had such long arms that he could button his 
breeches at the knee without stooping at all. During the first lesson 
Colonel Perkins was at first hit very hard, but later retaliated by 
fighting the African backwards until he was knocked into the window 
and would have gone completely through had not his antagonist and 
his friends pulled him back by the ankles. After he had extricated 
a few pieces of glass from his arms, he said with great respect for 
his amateur sparring partner: "Golly, Massa Major, how you do 
hit wid dat right of yours ! Why, I radder be kicked by old 
Massa's black mule dan hab you hit me again like dat. No, by 
golly, I don't want any mo' of dat hitten here." It is interesting to 
record that Richmond was born at Richmond on Staten Island. He 
became a body-servant to General Earl Percy when the English took 
possession of Long Island during the Revolution, and later accompa- 
nied his master to England, where he served him for a number of years. 
He then took up prize-fighting and soon became a champion. 

Another example of the Colonel's strength and agility was shown 
when he and the well-known actor James Wallack were leaving the 
Federal Street Theatre in Boston. A man very much under the 
influence of liquor rushed at them with a knife, whereupon Colonel Per- 



SOMK MERCIIAN rS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

kins parried the blow and felled the assailant to the ground, but himself 
received a bad wound. It was later discovered that the attacker 
was none other than Junius Brutus Booth, the actor, who doubtless 
was jealous over the success of Wallack, and who had intended his 
blow for his rival instead of for Colonel Perkins. 

When Colonel Perkins first went to China he was very young, and 
very homesick, and was much disappointed not to be received more 
cordially by John Perkins Cushing, the head of the firm of J. & T. H. 
Perkins, who happened to be very much occupied when he arrived. 
Young Perkins presented a letter of introduction from Mrs. Forbes, 
a sister of his father, which was met with a curt " There's your desk." 
Nothing was said for a long time, young Perkins in the mean time 
spending his time making lamp-lighters, when suddenly Mr. Cushing 

looked over at him and said, " Is your Aunt as fat as she used 

to be?" "Ten times fatter" was the reply, and the conversation 
again ended. This may have been the same aunt who asked one of 
the younger members of the family to put a pillow in the small of 
her back. The reply came, " You haven't any small to your back. 
Aunty." A friendship between Mr. Cushing and his young apprentice 
quickly began, and the two became lifelong friends. 

Not many days after their first meeting Mr. Cushing asked the 
new arrival if he would take an armed boat and go up to Houqua's 
and get from him a hundred thousand dollars. Perkins got ready 
for the expedition and then waited around for further instructions, 
thinking he would need a letter of introduction to the comprador. 
Mr. Cushing said that this was very unnecessary, as all the business 
with Houqua was by word of mouth. The Chinaman promptly 
appeared when he knew an American had arrived to see him, and 
invited him ashore, saying in his pigeon English, " Hi ya, my welly 
glad sabe that son my olo flen, Mr. Perkins, my welly much chin chin 
you, askee come ashore, come ashore; as for dollar, can hab, yes, 
can hab leckly." While the money was being counted out, Houqua 
invited young Perkins to lunch with him and to attend an old Chinese 
play which Houqua said had been going on for several weeks. 
Finally the play was over, Houqua amusingly remarking that "the 
tide would not wait even for Confucius " and therefore the play must 
come to an end for the day. The dollars were taken back safely 
to Canton. 

Colonel Perkins spent a good many years of his life in London, 
where he made many warm friends. He also acquired the reputation 
of being one of the best-dressed men of his day and of having the 
handsomest leg in London. Wliile there he served on the staff of 
General Devereux for over two years. On one occasion the question 
of wearing knee-breeches or trousers was discussed, and those present 
decided to ask Major Perkins what his decision would be. His 
answer was that all men who had bad legs might come in trousers, 
and, as General Devereux expressed it, " trousers were very scarce 
that season at Almack's." 

On another occasion a marquis had driven six horses through the 



SOME M ERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

streets of London and had been fined, as this was against the municipal 
regulations. Major Perkins declared that the offender hadn't known 
how to do it, and he promptly made bets with all the people in the 
room that he could drive his six-in-hand about the Park without 
being fined. The next morning the same party of men scrambled 
into their seats in the drag and the six-in-hand started on its way 
about London. In a short time a " bobby " ordered them to stop, 
remarking that it was contrary to the law to drive six horses about 
the streets of London. " I am aware of that," answered Colonel 
Perkins. " Then I must summon you," replied the officer. " I am 
Colonel Thomas H. Perkins of Park Lane," was the reply, " and I 
am not breaking that regulation. If you will take the trouble to 
inspect my off-wheeler you will perceive that he is a mule and I know 
of no regulation which prevents a gentleman from driving five horses 
and a mule to his drag if he pleases." None on the drag had noticed 
the mule, and when they did see it there was a shout of laughter 
from every one, with the exclamation, " You have won, Tom," and 
the " bobby " remarked, " Damned Yankee trick that," as Colonel 
Perkins touched up his horses and started for home. 

General Devereux praised Colonel Perkins very highly while he 
was his staff officer. One day a number of men were having a 
discussion and the Marquis of Hertford said he knew a certain thing 
was so. Some one else asked him how he knew this, and he replied, 
" Because Tom Perkins told me so." Again the questioner rather 
carelessly asked who Tom Perkins was and why he should always 
be quoted. The questioner again was admonished by the Marquis, 
who replied that Tom Perkins was a young man whom he ad- 
mired and respected; that he admired any man who could knock 
Richmond through a window, and respected a young man who when 
he came to hunt with them not only brought nags enough to horse 
himself but had spare mounts for some of his own impecunious 
relatives. He further stated that he had seen the questioner riding 
some of Tom's horses himself. There was a shout from all those 
in the room, and the questioner declared that he was sorry he had 
spoken. 

When Colonel Perkins returned to America he purchased a house 
at Nahant which was owned at one time by General Charles J. Paine, 
the famous yachtsman. Perkins was always fond of the water and 
was an excellent hand in steering a small boat. Captain Dumaresq 
came back from Baltimore and described a very beautiful schooner 
which Perkins bought, and made a match with her against the 
" Sylph," which was to be sailed by John Perkins Cushing and 
Capt. R. B. Forbes. The race was to a buoy off the outer light in 
Boston Harbour, it being agreed that the first boat around should 
drive a boat-hook into the buoy and the next boat should take it out. 
The Perkins-Dumaresq yacht, which was called the " Dream," 
rounded the buoy first, and the Colonel drove his boat-hook into it 
and succeeded in first reaching home. The boat-hook never was 
brought back, and for years afterwards, when Colonel Perkins met 



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SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

Captain Forbes on Temple Place or on the Common he used to yell: 
"Ben, ahoy! Where is my boat-hook?" 

Colonel Perkins was born in his father's house on Pearl Street 
and later attended school at Exeter Academy, where the master 
declared he was a very rare fellow because he had "a watch, a fowling 
piece and a Lexicon," a rare combination at that time. 

He married Miss Jane Francis Dumaresq and they lived in Boston, 
first on Chauncy Street and then at 1 Winthrop Place. He became 
a partner in the firm of J. & T. H. Perkins, and was so successful 
that in 1834 he built a house of his own at 1 Joy Street, where he 
passed many years. To their house came many of the important 
people of this time, — Harrison Gray Otis, Judge Story, Samuel 
Appleton, Thomas L. Winthrop, Daniel Webster, Nathaniel Amory, 
Nlajor Joseph Russell, Mr. and Mrs. Everett, Augustus Thorndike. 
Francis Codman, Charles Hammond, J. P. Cushing, Thomas and 
Lothrop Motley, Louis Stackpole, Henry Cabot, Col. T. G. Carey, 
W\ H. Gardiner, and others. His father's house in Temple Place 
was the rendezvous of all the important people of the day. Mention 
is often made of the wonderful Thanksgiving dinners there, which 
were attended by four generations, those present often numbering 
over sixty, and occupying two rooms for the dinner-table. Upon 
these occasions it was always customary after dinner for the youngest 
child to walk down the entire length of the table, and it is recorded 
that the last one to achieve this feat was a great-grand-daughter, 
now Mrs. F. C. Shattuck, who was then about five years old. 

When Colonel Perkins realized that he was about to die he said 
to a friend of his: " I am about as good as Gus Thorndike, Jim Otis, 
or Charlie Hammond, and almost as good as Frank Codman. I 
shall go where they go, and that is where I wish to go." In a few 
weeks this fine gentleman died, in the year 1850. 



THCKFRMAN TOWN^FND k CO 

The white flag with two letter T's and a blue border, flown by 
Tuckerman, Townsend & Co., was known in many ports of the world, 
but chiefly in Palermo, Singapore, Penang, Calcutta, and other Eastern 
ports. The head of this house was Gustavus Tuckerman, Jr., who 
was born in England in the year 1824. It had been intended that he 
should go to Harvard College as his elder brother John Francis 
Tuckerman had done, but owing to a change of plans he went into 
the office of Curtis and Greenough. He was sent by this firm in 
1847 to Palermo, Sicily, as its representative to attend to the purchase 
and shipment of the cargoes, sending, as he deemed most profitable, 
cream of tartar, shellac, wine, fruit, licorice, paste, linseed, etc., etc., 
to Boston. He represented the firm a second time in 1849, passing 
another year at Palermo, and his letters of introduction at both times 
brought him in contact with many interesting people. 

On his return he was made a partner in the firm of Curtis & Greenough 

8 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

and in 1851 married Emily Goddard Lamb, a daughter of Thomas 
Lamb, president of the New England National Bank of Boston. 
Alfred Greenough died about this time, and Tuckerman formed a 
partnership with Thomas D. Townsend, who was also in the firm of 
Curtis & Greenough, under the firm name of Tuckerman, Townsend & 
Co. In 1852 Tuckerman sailed for India to represent the new firm. 

The most reliable captain sailing for this house was Captain Mea- 
com, who has been described by Mr. Tuckerman as one of the old- 
fashioned sort who would take good care of his vessel and be honest 
for his owners. He was the oldest trader who called at Calcutta and 
was privileged to wear a pennant on holidays and was called '' Com- 
modore," both old customs of that port. 

During Tuckerman's second trip to India, in 1859, the firm of 
Tuckerman, Townsend & Co. lost a great deal of money owing to 
adverse business conditions which virtually ruined the old India trade. 
On his return he decided to dissolve the firm rather than to continue 
on borrowed capital which was offered him at that time. He there- 
fore brought his family to New York City and accepted the position 
of treasurer of the Hazard Powder Company. His heart was ever 
true to the old business, however, and he always loved to remember 
the old days in the India trade, and the ships and captains of the 
square-riggers that his firm had owned and chartered. 

Joseph Tuckerman, a cousin of Gustavus Tuckerman, was in 
business with Josiah Bradlee, and gave up this position to act as super- 
cargo of the " Cowper," owned by Russell & Co. Some years later 
he brought back a shipload of Eastern merchandise to New York, 
arriving during the panic of 1837. As he approached his home his 
father opened the window and greeted him with these cheerful words: 
"Joseph, we are all ruined, you're ruined." It was true; they were 
bankrupt, as the goods brought no bids. Tuckerman was not dis- 
couraged by this adverse fortune, but set out to make his living in 
some other line. One day he was riding on the Camden-Amboy 
Railroad, the train being drawn by the famous English locomotive 
"Johnnie Bull," which was imported from England a few years before. 
He at once realized the value of iron for the railroads, entered the iron 
business, and recouped his lost fortune. 



CAPTAIN BURKE AND HIS GALLANT RESCUE 

Captain Edmund Burke of the "Azor " was the most popular of all 
the Fayal captains and usually made very fast voyages owing to the 
fact that he always trimmed the sails to take advantage of every pufi" 
of air. His mate, a man named Davis, was an excellent navigator, 
although with but little education. He was not at all ashamed of the 
fact that he was a self-made man, and often said jokingly that he had 
only three days of school in his life: " The first day school didn't keep; 
the second day the teacher was sick; and the third day I played 
hookev." 

9 




From a photograph 



Kindness of Frederic Cunningham 



SOME MERCHANTS ayid SEA CAPTAINS of OLD B OSTON 

One of the men in Captain Burke's crew sailed with him for eleven 
years, and every one, both passengers and crew, was very fond of him. 
Once when it became necessary to cut away the masts on one of the 
voyages into New Bedford four Portuguese sailors in the crew, who 
had been on the ship for over four years, were so filled with grief at 
being forced to raise a hand against the ship they loved so much that 
they wept bitterly all the while they were hacking at the masts with 
their axes. 

On his first voyage in the "Azor" in 1855 the following were among 
the passengers bound to Fayal: Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Dabney, Olivia 
Dabney, C. P. Webster, E. W. Pomeroy, Edith Dabney, and F. Kinni- 
cutt, Jr. The Dabney family was associated with Fayal for many 
years and thought little of making a trip there. The following words 
are taken from an old log of the "Azor." 

"Sweet Barque, it is of thee, 
From all bilge-water free, 

Of thee I sing; 
Barque of the noble prow, 
So clean from top to toe, 
Long mayest thou to and fro 

The Dabneys bring." 

While on the way from Fayal to Boston in 1865, Captain Burke 
encountered tremendous gales, and when nine hundred miles from 
Boston fell in with the ship " Gratitude," which was in such a leaky 
condition that all of her passengers had to be transferred to the 
"Azor," which had been rechristened " Fredonia." Three hun- 
dred and twenty people were transferred with great difficulty, which 
increased the " Fredonia's " list from fifteen to a total of three hun- 
dred and thirty-five persons, and to provide quarters for them all it 
was found necessary to throw overboard thousands of boxes of 
oranges. More severe weather was encountered and the thermometer 
dropped to zero, necessitating the constant hammering of the rigging 
by the sailors to keep it clear of ice. Several times the vessel was 
blown to sea as she was about to enter Boston Harbour, and as 
their food consisted chiefly of oranges, which had now been almost 
all consumed, the consequences might have been disastrous. 
Finally port was safely made, and Mayor Lincoln and many of the 
good citizens of Boston took prompt steps to relieve the sufferings 
of the unfortunate passengers. The cargo which was thrown over- 
board from the " Fredonia " was insured, but by getting rid of it 
before the people from the " Gratitude " came aboard, the insurance 
was forfeited. Generous Bostonians again came to the rescue, realiz- 
ing that the captain could not have acted otherwise, and raised the 
amount of the loss by popular subscription. 

Some months later Captain Burke sailed to Lisbon, and on arriving 
at that port the officials informed him that there was a quarantine 
against arrivals from certain ports in the United States, as smallpox 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAL\S of OLD BOSTON 

had broken out there. The Americans were much amused when they 
were furtlicr informed that ail ships sailing from America were exempt 
from quarantine, except those from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago 
and Cincinnati. 

On one of these rough voyages to Fayal one of the passengers, 
undoubtedly a poor sailor, as will be observed by the reader, composed 
the following verses, which may prove amusing: — 

A PSALM OF THE SEA 

A. C. SICKFELLOW 

Tell me not in cheerful numbers 

Life at sea's a pleasant dream, 
For all round me seasick grumblers 

Anything but pleasant seem. 

Life is hateful — life's disgusting, 

When in torture past control, 
To bounding billows you're entrusting 

Your scarce-swallowed breakfast roll. 

Short the voyage, the bark swift sailing. 

No ill wind nor storm betides; 
Yet, still obtrudes the thought prevailing, 

'Twas not meant for my insides. 

In future, friends, nor doctor either, 

Trust when urging change of air; 
Firmly tell them that you'd rather 

Stay at home and tear your hair, 

Than to ride with ocean demons 

In a plight that nothing cures; 
With the vessel on her beam ends, 

And you, hapless wight, on yours. 

Rolling on the broad Atlantic, 

Reeling feet from stem to stern; 
Every one with efforts frantic 

Striving head from heels to learn. 

You lose your meals — don't lose your temper. 

Cheerful let your dinner go; 
All know, who've suffered this distemper, 

You've "that within which passcth show." 

Let us, then, while onward gliding, 

As for land we long and wait. 
Still from port to starboard sliding. 

Learn to grin and bear our fate. 

12 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 



Not for comfort in our sorrow, 
Nor for brandy, now we call; 

All we ask is that each morrow 
Bring us nearer to Fayal. 



BY s. B. s. 



{From Passenger 5 Log of the "Jzor" in possession of Mrs. Clara D. Benton, of 
Michigan, daughter of Captain Burke.) 



AUGUSTUS HEMENWAY & CO. 

Augustus Hemenway was one of the most influential merchants 
of Boston. He was born in Salem in 1805, and like many boys of 
that period he was obliged to go to work when he was very young. 
His first position was as clerk in a small dry-goods store in Charles- 
town, and later he was employed by Benjamin Bangs & Co., going 
out as supercargo in their vessels. When he was fifteen years old, it 
is recorded, he was earning $60 a year and his board. With the Bangs 
firm he began trading for himself in a small way with the seacoast 
r.owns in Maine, then he branched out to the West Indies, and by 
1836 he was in business for himself under the firm name of A. Hemen- 
way & Co. He owned eight large ships, which he built for his own 
business, under his own orders, and which plied to and from Val- 
paraiso, where he had his own warehouse and stores. The names of 
these vessels were " City of Valparaiso," " City of Santiago," " Inde- 
pendence," " Magellan," " San Carlos," "Prospero," " Sunbeam," and 
' Quintero." He also owned the entire cargoes which consisted of what- 
ever American products he considered would be salable on the west 
coast of South America, — soap, candles, kerosene, refined sugar, boots, 
shoes, etc.; lathes, shovels, picks, and other tools and machines, woollen 
and cotton cloth; sewing-machines, organs, pianos, furniture, and other 
manufactures. For the homeward voyages the ships were loaded 
with copper ore, nitrate of soda, wool, hides, goatskins, etc. As all 
the cargo belonged to him, he never had to advertise for freight. 

One of his captains said that when his crew was taken on board 
in Boston, one of them was very drunk and noisy, whereupon the 
mate told him to stop his noise and go below. The man made some 
insulting reply, whereupon the mate seized a belaying pin, struck 
him a heavy blow on the head which brought the blood over his face, 
and knocked him senseless to the deck. A lady passenger, who saw 
it, was horrified at the sight, and hastened to the cabin. A few days 
ater, when the ship had sailed, this lady came on deck and observ- 
ing the man who had been belabored, at the wheel, steering 
the ship, exclaimed, "Oh, my good man, how is your head.''" The 
nan glanced at the compass and replied absent-mindedly to the puzzled 
ady, " East-north-east-half-east, Madam." 

Another captain brought home from Valparaiso a French ship- 
master whose vessel had been sold. He had with his baggage a 
quantity of fine French brandy. On the last day of the discharge 

13 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

of the cargo the Frenchman invited the custom-house officer on board 
to take a glass of this brandy, which the officer said was the finest 
he had ever tasted. The Frenchman asked if he would consider it 
a good thing to have in the house, and asked for a memorandum of 
his residence. Soon after that a man came from the cabin with a 
half-dozen bottles in a basket and started for the shore. Of course, 
the officer could not see goods taken ashore until the duty was paid, 
so he looked the other way. When he went home that night he was 
surprised and disappointed at not finding the brandy there and dis- 
covered a few days later that the address given to the man with the 
basket was that of one of the Frenchman's friends, and not his own 
address. The custom-house official could not say anything about the 
incident without showing his neglect of duty in allowing the brandy 
to be landed. 

Mr. Hemenway's quiet manner of managing his affairs was appre- 
ciated by every one. One day the stevedores' engine, at work on 
the wharf, threw oflF a mass of soot which was blown into the office 
windows, covering the desks and papers. Mr. Hemenway spoke to 
the wharfinger about it, who must have been a punster, for he 
replied, " I am very sorry; we are always trying to s^nt you," and 
then proceeded with his work. 

Besides his Valparaiso business Augustus Hemenway owned an 
entire township in Maine, where he procured pine-trees, floating the 
logs down to his own saw-mill at Machias. Here they were cut 
into boards and loaded on his schooners for Cuba, where he owned 
a large plantation and sugar-mill, in which he took a great interest. 
One winter evening, while on his way from Sagua to the St. George 
estate, Mr. Hemenway was captured by insurgents and held for 
ransom. The manager of the estate, who was with him, was very 
much terrified, but Mr. Hemenway showed no fear whatever and 
passed a good part of the night sitting on a log, smoking cigars, and 
endeavoring to beat down the exorbitant demands made for his 
ransom, in which he was largely successful. At daybreak he sent his 
manager, Mr. Bartlett, to the bank, in Sagua, for the necessary funds, 
paid his ransom, then went quietly on his way. Absolute fearlessness 
was one of his strongest characteristics. After this adventure, how- 
ever, he made it a point to go by train from Sagua to the estate. 

Mr. Hemenway was an industrious, quiet, and unassuming gentle- 
man, and was a most successful merchant. He was so conscientious 
about his business that he was seldom willing to leave details to others, 
sometimes even superintending the loading of his vessels. He married 
Mary Tileston, the daughter of Thomas Tileston of New York, who 
was one of the foremost merchants of that city from 1820 until his 
death in the late sixties. 

There was another Hemenway in the family who was a noted 
captain, and it was said of him that he was such a good pilot that 
he could " take a ship to the White Mountains, gather a freight of 
cool air and return on time with his eyes shut." 

15 




'J rvj rrri: vwv'jpli 
■j rri nr']" r^ "HHi *^"' 

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SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 




From a painline rru'tied hy Barclay TlHon, E^q. 

"DASHING \VA\E," OWNED BY STEPHEN TILTON & CO., ENTERING BOSTON 

HARBOUR IN 1855 

The Tilton firm has had offices in the same location, 10 Central Wharf, — now 10 Milk 
Street, — since 1830. The ships of the firm used to dock opposite the counting-house. 



STEPHEN TILTOX & CO., WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE 
THRILLING ADVENTURE OF TWO OF THE TILTON 
FAMILY AGAINST INDIANS. 

The firm of Stephen Tilton & Co. was composed of Stephen and his 
two sons, Stephen, Jr., and Joseph B. Tilton, the latter the father of 
Barclay Tilton, and their offices since 1830 have been at the same 
location, formerly 10 Central Wharf, now 10 Milk Street. The old 
sign over the door is still there, although no longer legible. The firm 
had started business a few years before in Newburyport. The ships 
of the firm used to dock right opposite the " counting-room," the 
dock itself being situated where the present Chamber of Commerce 
is. Central Wharf in the early days was the continuation of what is 
now Milk Street, below India Street. The Tilton firm at first traded 
with the W^est Indies and later with Calcutta, where some of the 
cousins and uncles lived as agents, handling chiefly tobacco sent out 
there from Virginia. The two best known of their ships were the 
" Dashing Wave " and " Water Witch." When the " Dashing Wave " 
was converted into a barge a shot from the Confederate cruiser " Ala- 
bama " was found in her timbers. At present writing she is still used 
as a barge. The logs of the firm's ships were found in the offices at 
10 Central Wharf. 

18 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

The grandfather and uncle of Stephen Tilton had a thrilling ex- 
perience with some Penobscot Indians, which is most interesting, and 
which has been described in "A Brief Narrative or Poem, giving an 
account of the hostile Actions of Some Pagan Indians towards Lieu- 
tenant Jacob Tilton, and his brother Daniel Tilton, both of the town 
of Ipswich, as they were on board of a small vessel at the Eastward; 
which happened in the summer-time, in the year 1722. With an ac- 
count of the Valiant Exploits of the said Tiltons, and their victorious 
Conquest over their insulting enemies." This narrative was discovered 
stowed away in the Newburyport Town Hall. 

The two Tilton brothers went off on a fishing voyage, and, to quote 
the first few lines of this poem:- — 

"Down at an eastward harbour call'd Fox Bay,* 
They in a Schooner at an anchor lay. 
It was upon the fourteenth day of June, 
Six stout great Indians in the afternoon 
In two Canoes on board said Schooner came, 
With painted faces in a churlish frame." 

The warriors ran down into the cabin and demanded to know the 
reason why the white men retained one of their Indians as a hostage, 
to which Lieutenant Tilton expostulated that 

"Great while since we from Boston hither came 
We poor fishermen are not to blame." 

The Indians with considerable difficulty then managed to bind their 
two captives, and danced around them, flourishing their long knives. 
Presently two of their number rowed ashore to carry back the good 
news of the capture, leaving on guard the other four, who felt so certain 
that they had their prisoners secure, that they left them and began to 
plunder the ship of all food and valuables on board. The following 
lines plainly describe what ensued: — 

"While they were plundering so busily, 
He saw a splitting knife that was near by, 
To which he goes and turns his back about 
Eyeing them well, lest they should find him out: 
And so he works said knife into his hand, 
With which he cuts his line, but still doth stand. 
Although two of said Indians him ey'd. 
They did not know but he remained fast ty'd. 
Two of said Indians were plundering, 
Down the Forecastle while he did this tiling, 
The other two so watchful and so sly, 
And on him kept a constant Indian eye, 
That he stands still waiting till he could find 
A time when they did him not so^much mind; 

* Fox Bay was undoubtedly North Haven. 

19 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTO^ 



But when for plunder they to searching goes, 
Then his contrivance presently he shows: 
He to his brother Jacob runs with speed, 
And cuts his line; now both of them are freed. 
The Indians now alarmed, hereby. 
In Indian lanpuape, made a hideous cry: 
Cryinp Chau hau, chau hau; for they espy'd. 
That both these Englishmen were got unty'd; 
Like roaring Lyons with an ax and knives 
Made violent assaults to take their lives; 
But God who had determined to save, 
I'ndauntcd courage unto them He gave; 
That they with such a manly confidence, 
Altho' unarm'd stood in their own defence; 
And tho' they had from these blood-thirsty hounds 
Received many dismal stabs and wounds, 
While in their skirmish blood was up and hot. 
No more than Flea bites them they minded not, 
Said Daniel still retained his splitting knife. 
Who nimbly ply'd the same and fit for life; 
With one hand fended off the Indian blows, 
And with the other crossed the face and nose 
Of Captain Sam, until his pagan head 
Was chop'd and gash'd, and so much mangled; 
Bits of his Indian scalp hung down in strings, 
And blood run pouring thence as out of springs." 

Jacob Tilton was able to hurl one of the wounded Indians overboard. 

"Then Daniel presently took Captain Sam, 
And brought his hand about his Indian Ham, 
And to the vessel side he nimble goes. 
And his black carcass in the water throws." 

Jacob then threw the third over the side, the fourth deciding that 
he would jump of his own accord. Two of the wounded men in the 
water then climbed on board a canoe which was lying alongside the 
vessel. The poem goes on to say: — 

"Said Indians on board had left a gun. 
Unto the same said Jacob Tilton run. 
Catching it up to shoot them, it mist fire. 
Which disappointed him of his desire. 
He catching up a stout great setting Pole, 
With all his might he struck them on the jcle. 
Giving them many blows upon the head; 
Over they turns, and sunk like any lead. 
We think our Country now at Peace might rest, 
If all our Indian foes were thus supprest. 
Let God the glory of such conquest have, 
Who can by few as well as many save. 
Then having thus dispatch'd the savage crew. 
They presently consulted what best to do. 

20 






SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

Three more Canoes ladden to the brim 

With Indians as deep as they could swim, 

Came padling down with all their might and main 

Hoping the valient Tiltons to retain. 

Daniel, which was both nimble, stout and spry, 

He fetch'd an ax, and running presently. 

He cuts the cable; then they hoist their sail. 

Leaving their Neighbors, that they might bewail 

Over their Governor who in dispute, 

Had term'd himself as great and good as Shute.* 

After they had from foes escaped thus. 

They sail'd and came into Alintinnicus" (now Matinicus). 

Here their wounds were dressed by the English and then 

"Their course for Ipswich town they next contrive, 
Where in a few days their Vessel did arrive: 
Through so much danger, misery and pain, 
They are returned to their friends again. 
Thus I have summed up this tragick scene. 
As from their mouths it told to me has been." 

* Shute was then Governor of Massachusetts. 



1867. 



FORT ^^ HILL 

BOSTON, MASS. 



1892. 





|rjpmwMff.Tin:i».niye:i:2c 



HIGH STREET BRIDGE, OVER OLIVER. 



HIGH STREET, COR. OLIVER. 



Then * anD * noW. 



FORT HILL IN 1867 AND IN 1892 



Kindness of J . Chany 



The Sailors' Home and the waters of Boston Harbour can be seen in the background of 
the picture on the left. 



21 




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SOME MERCHANTS a7id SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 



ALPHEUS HARDY &: CO. 

Alphcus Hardy and Ezra Baker in the early forties were successful 
in the coastwise trade, so much so, in fact, that for the purpose of 
extending their commerce they purchased the " Otho," a little brig 
of 150 tons, to send to the Mediterranean, and although she was 
very small the merchants of Boston looked with jealous eye upon 
her. The " Otho " made a remarkable trip, and arrived in Boston 
long before the rest of the fleet. At once her cargo was advertised 
at auction, and buyers thronged the pier where old John Tyler was 
reaping fancy prices, when in the midst of the sale one of Boston's 
merchants drove up in a chaise and called out to the crowd: "Buy 
easy, boys, buy easy! My bark is just signalled, and she will be 
here before night." Perhaps the sale would have terminated more 
successfully had the buyers known that this bark had not signalled, 
and that a fortnight was to elapse before she appeared in port. In 
spite of this misfortune which attended the disposition of the 
" Otho's " first cargo under her new ownership, the firm of Hardy 
and Baker prospered, and became a worthy predecessor of the later 
firm of Alpheus Hardy & Co. The latter firm had the distinction 
of owning many swift vessels. They also never sold a ship nor 
changed a flag through fear of either foreign or domestic foe, and 
perhaps as a reward they never lost a ship to the Confederates 
during the Rebellion. Their ships included the " Conquest," 
" Ocean Pearl," " Cowper," " Granite," " Wild Rover," and " Moun- 
tain Wave," and their barks were the " Young Turk," " Kepler," 
''Cleber," "Wild Gazelle," "The Turk," "Bounding Billow," 
"Daniel Webster," "Dorchester," and "Young Turk, 2nd." The 
"Daniel Webster " owned by the Hardy firm was usually the 
ship that brought the first cargo of fruit into the Boston market, a 
coveted honor among the vessels of those days. She was later 
owned by John S. Emery & Co. of Boston. 

In a letter written by Alpheus Hardy at Gibraltar, November 20, 
1845, he said: "I sailed from our good city, the Queen city of the 
States. My leaving was under the most pleasing and happy cir- 
cumstances, so far as conveyance and company were concerned, our 
firm having prepared a new bark completely fitted for our comfort. 
My pride was moved by going in my own vessel, and with a cargo 
under my control. Poor human nature!" During this tour made 
by Mr. Hardy to the Nile and the Holy Land, ships belonging to the 
firm were frequently met with, and in them were sent home many 
purchases, and mementos of travel. 

It was the " Wild Rover " belonging to Alpheus Hardy & Co. 
that in 1865 brought into the United States the first Japanese to come 
to this country in search of learning, and it was Alpheus Hardy who be- 
came the benefactor of and who educated Joseph Hardy Neesima, the 
young immigrant, and who lived to see his protege serve Japan and 
there found Doshisha University. Neesima's escape from Japan to China 

24 



From a photograph Kindness oj Arthur Sherburne Hardy 

JOSEPH HARDY NEESIMA 

He escaped from Japan and came to America on one of the 
Hardy ships. He was then educated by Alpheus Hardy, who 
always took a great interest in the young Japanese. Neesima 
took Mr. Hardy's name for his middle name. 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

was made in an American vessel of which William T, Savory of 
Salem, Mass., was master. Captain Savory kindly consented to 
aid the young Japanese, and, in order to secure his safety from the 
custom-house officers, locked Neesima in the store-room of the cabin. 
At Shanghai, Neesima was transferred to the Hardy ship " Wild 
Rover," commanded by Captain Horace S. Taylor of Chatham, 
Mass., and after a prolonged voyage of eight months the vessel 
reached Cape Cod. When the young Japanese came on board he 
could speak only a few words of English, and when he was asked his 
name by the captain he replied that it was " Neesima Shimeta." 
*' I think I had better call you Joe," rejoined the captain, and from 
that time he was known by that name. Upon meeting Neesima in 
Boston, Alpheus Hardy undertook the education of the young 
foreigner who had risked his life to come here in search of knowledge. 
He was placed in Phillips Academy at Andover, and afterwards was 
sent to Amherst College, where he was graduated in 1870. He is 
remembered as the Apostle to Japan. Up to Mr. Hardy's death 
in 1887 his interest in Neesima's work was very great. Professor 
T. Makino and Professor Mizusaki, who have been living in Boston 
recently, were two of Neesima's pall-bearers when he died in 1890. 

Alpheus H. Hardy succeeded his father as a member of the firm 
of Alpheus Hardy & Co. The younger Mr. Hardy in 1853 — when 
but thirteen years of age — crossed the Atlantic in the 320-ton bark 
" Young Turk " belonging to his father and manned by a Chatham 
crew. During this voyage young Hardy kept a diary in which he 
recorded impressions of the sea and of places visited, his last entry, 
November 9, 1853, giving a vivid picture of the lad's joy in seeing 
Boston again. " On Long Wharf," he says, " I recognized father 
among the crowd, and also the blacks (black horses) and mother's 
face at the carriage window. I touched the wharf before the ship and 
was soon out of the crowd and where in comparative seclusion, I might 
be welcomed at home." 

At the two hundredth anniversary of Chatham, Mass., in 1912, 
Mr. Hardy recalled this early voyage. " In the years," said Mr. 
Hardy, " when we still owned ships, so far as possible, we chose 
Chatham or Cape men as masters. Among them was John Paine, 
to whom was gladly paid a higher wage if he would take his wife 
with him; David Nye Nickerson, Thomas Crowell, Thomas Sparrow, 
Andrew Reynolds and others. . . . The choice was based upon 
the confidence and belief in the character and ability of the men. 
In connection with this, let me mention an incident which occurred 
this morning. Captain Ephraim Smith told me that my father told 
him when he had chartered him for a special voyage, ' I have not 
chartered your vessel, but you.' It was not the ship, but the man 
he wanted. I recall the unwillingness to let the now Rev. S. S. 
Nickerson go to sea in command of the ' Heroine,' which he had 
chartered, because of his extreme youthful appearance, until he 
learned that he was a Chatham boy. That settled it, and he made 
a successful voyage." 

26 



"nie Best Cliaiice Yet, for 




A Meeting will be tjeld in f"<S II ASSET, at the Office oC 

H . J . 1 1 11 1 1 ft , 

On SATIRDAV, Janimry 2Tt!«, at 91 ^ft'C'lork. ibv the |nn- 
poKe of forming a Company, to be eaSb^l 3he " S^iith Nhore an*? 
Calitbrnia Joint St«M>k Com|)any ;'' to be consfHtsed of SH> 
Members, and eaeh Member paying S9»30^>. 

COH ASSET, J.ANl.VRY «i, IS4J>. 



Fropeller Fower Pressei, 142 ^^aahtngtoB St., Dotton. 

Kindness of the Boston Marine Museum 



From a broadside 



NOTICE OF A MEETING HELD IN COHASSET IN 1849 TO FORM A COMPANY 
TO SEEK GOLD DURING THE CALIFORNIA GOLD CRAZE 

In this year 775 vessels cleared from Atlantic ports for San Francisco, Massachusetts 
sending 224. 91,405 people arrived in the Golden City during the year 1849. 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 



OSBORX HOWF 

Osborn Howes was born in Dennis, Mass., in 1806, the family 
having settled on Cape Cod as early as 1635. His father, who was also 
a well-known sea-captain, was captured by the English during the war 
of 1812, but managed to escape, and succeeded in recapturing 
his own vessel, bringing her and her crew back into Portland 
Harbour. Nothing could be more interesting than the description 
in Mr. Howes' autobiography of his early life on Cape Cod, which 
pictures his mother spinning and weaving the clothing for the whole 
household, while the son wound quills and attended to the farm. 

In 1818 the Howes family put all their property on board a small 
schooner and sailed to Boston, going to Dedham by stage-coach, 
where they took up their residence, the younger Howes journeying 
to the new home on top of a pile of furniture which was placed on 
the ox-cart. The trip consumed all of the day and part of the night. 

At an early age he was sent by his father, who sailed ships for 
Edmund Baylies and Thomas B. Curtis, to Copenhagen under 
Captain Burgess. The second voyage was as supercargo in the 
" Cipher," which had been commanded by his father. Several years 
later David Ellis asked him to take the bark " Hebe " to Brazil, 
expressing this promotion by saying that he could not afford to pay 
the salaries of both a captain and supercargo, and that he would 
therefore have to act in both capacities. Howes, of course, was 
overjoyed and, with an interest in the undertaking, sailed for Per- 
nambuco. On his return he purchased the remaining interest in the 
" Hebe " and made several successful voyages in her, one of them 
being to Turkey, where he was hailed as the first American captain to 
visit that country. He then took his brother-in-law into partnership, 
forming the firm of Howes & Crowell, which continued in business 
for thirty-four years. The "Josephine," " George Hallett," " Newton^" 
and " Osborne Howes " also carried the flag of the firm. The business 
of the house increased at the time of the gold craze in California, and 
many vessels owned by them were employed in trade with California, 
China, Australia, and Western Europe. During the latter years of 
Captain Howes' life he was persuaded to manage the American 
Steamboat Company and to invest in some of its stock. The enter- 
prise proved unprofitable, and Mr. Howes had to give all his energy 
at an advanced age to wind up the affairs of the Company, the strain 
on his physique being very severe. 

In 1874 he foresaw the wane of shipping investments and spent 
the next few years of his life in selling his vessels. 

When he died, an intimate friend of his said, " To have known him 
was a great privilege; to have had personal acquaintance with him 
was to believe forever in the men who made us a nation, and 
consequently to have faith in its future." 

For many years Howes and his family shared a house on Fort Hill 
with Captain Ezra H. Baker. The family now spells the name Osborne. 

29 



SOME MERCHANTS aiid SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 






I 

T 



From a print 




f "iv.ii^flfj i-ffw :»■ 



•CAMI'XOCk' 



Kindness nf Louis Bacon 



This famous clipper was owned by Daniel C. Bacon and was built by Samuel Hall. She 
was one of the fastest vessels ever built. Her figurehead of a Game Cock with outstretched 
neck arkd head was known to many ports of the world. 



CAPTAIN DANIEL C. BACON 

The " Canton Packet" while in China, in 1820, was blown ashore by 
a typhoon, which left her almost high and dry on the rice-fields. Daniel 
Bacon had gone over as captain of the "Alert," and as soon as he 
discovered the mishap he rushed over to assist in floating the American 
vessel. He gave orders to one of the sailors to " bear a hand and 
loose that topsail " and "to cut away the stops," and was surprised 
to receive the answer that it couldn't be done, as he had no knife. 
"A pretty sailor without a knife," said Captain Bacon, not realizing 
at all that he was working with and talking to Robert Bennet Forbes, 
who was soon to become his most intimate friend. In fact, the two 
families have always maintained that in later life when either of 
these well-known captains was taking a nap, each one gave instructions 
to be waked only for his chum. 

Captain Bacon was born in Barnstable, Cape Cod, the family hav- 
ing moved there from England in 1639, and the property where they 
resided still remains in the family, although the original house is not 
now standing. At this earlv date the Cape-Codders used to refer 
to "Goodman" and " Goodwife " instead of "Mr." and "Mrs." 
When the first railroad was built on the Cape, the Bacons relate that 
one of the women of the family had such an aversion to its being 
laid that when she went out to drive she carried a large turkey-feather 

30 



From a portrait 



Kindness of Louis Bacon 



CAPTAIN DANIEL C. BACON 



One of the most famous of old sea captains, and builder of the 
"Gamecock," for many years one of the fastest ships afloat. 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

fan to hold in front of her eyes so that she couldn't see the trains 
go by. 

Life on the Cape was excellent training for the sea, and it wasn't 
at all surprising that one of the later members of the family, Daniel 
Bacon, should at an early age set out on the old family white horse 
for Boston to seek his fortune as a sailor, hiring some one to ride his 
horse back to Barnstable. He shipped before the mast, rising quickly 
in rank until he became first mate under Captain William Sturgis, 
and then captain of vessels owned by Ropes & Pickman and by 
Theodore Lyman, both of whom were prominent merchants of this 
city. Bacon sailed several times under Captain Sturgis, and when 
the latter was married, the two brought their ditty-bags and sewed 
together the carpet for the bride to stand upon. It is interesting 
to record that, nearly a century later, a marriage took place between 
two of their grandchildren. 

Captain Bacon commanded the "Atahualpa," the " Vancouver," the 
"Alert," and other ships, and later in life built the well-known " Game- 
cock," one of the first of the California clippers, and other vessels 
for his own use. For many years the " Gamecock " was the fastest 
ship afloat, and it was probably this vessel that prompted the famous 
challenge for a match race which was made to British shipbuilding in 
1851 by the American Navigation Club, of which Bacon was president. 
The " Gamecock " had a figurehead of a flying bird with outstretched 
neck and head, ready for any contest. Captain Bacon besides being a 
successful captain was also a good trader, which was just as important 
in the early days of trading, when great judgment and secrecy had to 
be used. The " Gamecock " is shown on page 30. 

An amusing entry in Captain Bacon's log of the "Atahualpa " 
reads, "All sail set that is of the least use to drive us along toward 
the Yankee lasses." A later entry, which rather disclaims this fond- 
ness for the fair sex, reads, " It is so fine and smooth that I should 
like to have about forty or fifty pretty lasses on board for two or 
three hours upon a tea-drinking party, if there is any pleasure in them, 
but for my own part, I had rather be excused any time than to go 
to one of them." 

Long after Captain Bacon gave up the sea, Mrs. George Lyman, 
daughter-in-law of Theodore Lyman, became very ill and was ordered 
by her physician to go to Cuba. She refused to go unless Captain 
Bacon sailed her down, and, being of an obliging disposition, he 
donned his sea togs again and took her to Cuba, together with 
her carriage and horses. Another time he was obliged to undergo a 
severe operation, before the days of anaesthetics. Dr. Warren tied 
him down and operated on his patient, who suffered terribly. When 
it was over. Bacon said jokingly, " Dr. Warren, if I ever get you on 
blue water, I'll give you hell!" 

An interesting incident in his life was the lodging of the Siamese 
twins in his woodshed, they having been brought to America as a 
speculation by Captain Abel Coflin, one of Bacon's under-officers. 

Daniel Bacon has been described as the " synonym of mercantile 

32 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

enterprise, honor and integrity." Captain Forbes when told that he 
had died of enlargement of the heart remarked that this was im- 
possible, for his heart couldn't be any larger than it always had been. 

The family lived at one time in Temple Place, later moving to 
Jamaica Plain near the Pond. 

A prized possession is a silver tray service given Captain Bacon 
by the underwriters for saving the cargo of his vessel which went 
ashore in a storm at Nantasket. Young Bacon hired an ox-team and 
drove back and forth through the icy water until all the cargo was 
safely on shore. 



CXPTATN" l^ORFRT ?>F.N\^FT FOT^P^FS 

"Commodore" Forbes, or "the seamen's friend," as he was often 
called, went to sea at the age of thirteen, had been captured three 
times by the British before he was nine years old while travelling 
with his mother, and commanded the " Canton Packet " when he 
was only twenty, thereby fulfilling the fondest dream of a boy of those 
days. Throughout his career he always lived up to the advice given 
to him by Captain William Sturgis: "Always go straight forward, 
and if you meet the Devil cut him in two and go between the 
pieces; if any one imposes on you, tell him to whistle against a North- 
easter, and to bottle up moonshine." Captain Forbes, or " Black Ben/' 
as he was also often called, was a merchant as well as a sailor, and was 
a partner of Russell & Co. for some years. As was the case with so 
many men of his day, when he or his mother needed any money it 
was a question of another trip to China. The point of view at the 
present time is in great contrast to the ideas expressed in his 
memoirs, in which he wrote, "Looking back to 1824 when I was 
content in the command of a little ship of 264 tons, on a salary of six 
hundred dollars per annum, I conceded that I had arrived at the acme 
of my hopes." " Commodore " Forbes built and sailed many ships. 
When the well-known clipper " Paul Jones " was launched in Medford, 
a number of Captain Forbes's friends were present to witness the 
event. No wine was served for lunch, and when one of the guests 
was asked by the " Commodore " how he liked the vessel, he replied, 
" I think she is going to be a d — d dry ship." Another time when 
sailing to China as a passenger in the " Mary Chilton " a Chinese 
pilot hove In sight, remarking, " Missee Captain, you must take in that 
stu'n sail, plenty lock (rock) here, stlong tide." The Captain then 
asked how much the Chinaman wanted for taking the ship to Hong 
Kong, to which he replied, " Ole Flen [friend] askee hundred dollah, 
welly cheap!" "Commodore" Forbes, who knew every inch of the 
China coast, approached at this point in the conversation and was 
recognized by the pilot, who immediately changed his figures, exclaim- 
ing, " Hi-yah, ole Foxe! Ten dollah can do, Missee Captain." Even 
at this reduced price the pilot was unnecessary. 

So fond was Captain Forbes of anything pertaining to the sea 

33 



S OME MERCHANTS and SEA CA PTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

that he built port-holes around the upper part of his house on Milton 
Hill to make his house on land seem more like his home on the sea. 
He occupied a great deal of his time in making models of ships for the 
boys of Boston and Milton; when a boy grew to a certain mark on 
the wall of the workshop he was entitled to one of these miniature 
sail-boats, and, as they were much prized, many a boy tried to tiptoe 
to make himself tall enough to get the coveted boat. 

" Commodore " Forbes led a life full of excitement and adventure. 
He was interested in over seventy vessels; commanded the "James- 
town," which took provisions to the Irish during the famine of 
1847; hunted in Pau when over sixty-five years old; founded the 
Sailors' Snug Harbour, in Quincy; superintended the building of gun- 
boats for our Government during the war; and when the " Europa " 
ran into and sank the "Charles Bartlett " in mid-ocean he jumped 
into the sea and saved many lives, for which he received several 
medals. 

He once wrote to a friend that he expected him to jingle a marline- 
spike on his monument at Forest Hills before many days. Through 
some mistake this remark got into the newspaper and therefore the 
" Commodore " was obliged to write again. " Dear old sinner," he 
said, " since the report of my serious illness I have been obliged to 
hire a police officer to stand at the front door and reply to the numer- 
ous kind enquiries as to my condition. The Smiths and the Joneses, 
undertakers, have been looking around expecting a job! My daughter 
telegraphs for particulars and has prepared her kit to leave Iowa; 
my servants have given warning, alleging they cannot be kept running 
to the front door to answer the bell; I have been so worried that I 
have been obliged to call in Dr. Watson; my credit at the banks has 
suffered, and, worse than all, my creditors, the butcher, the baker, 
and the grocer, have sent in their bills! I am still living and have 
bought a six-shooter, so be on your guard." A short time before his 
death, when a friend was calling upon him, he said, " I have gone 
down to the docks, and I am waiting for the old ferryman to carry 
me over." His dying wish was that the following words be placed 
on his tombstone: "He tried to do his duty." 

H. C. THACHER & CO. 

The counting-rooms of H. C. Thacher & Co. were at 13 Central 
Wharf before the days when Fort Hill had been dumped into the 
sea to form a part of Atlantic Avenue. Many of the boys of Boston 
used to prowl around this wharf and those near by, to see their 
fathers' vessels from foreign ports discharge their cargoes. Another 
interesting event was to see the Yarmouth and Cape Cod packets 
tie up to their docks, which were directly opposite the office of the 
Thachers. H. C. Thacher was born at Yarmouth on the Cape in 
1829, at a time when most of the people of Cape Cod drew their 
livelihood from the sea. At one time he used to tell his family that 

35 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS oj OLD BOSTON 

he knew over fifty sea-captains who lived along the main street of 
Yarmouth within a distance of less than two miles. 

He organized his firm in 1852 and for almost half a century he was 
engaged in the Mediterranean trade. 

There is not a Cape Cod family that has not had its sea tragedy 
as well as its romance, and the Thacher family was no exception. 
There were two brothers in Yarmouth, called Bartlett and Chandler 
Thacher. Bartlett was only thirteen years old when he shipped as 
cabin boy on H. C, Thacher's bark " Mimosa," which plied between 
Boston and Smyrna and which was captained by a live Yankee 
skipper named Hall. She was a clipper, and her captain used to 
crowd on all the sail he could. Bartlett made his first trip to Smyrna 
and returned safely to Cape Cod and was on the point of sailing on his 
second trip to the same port. On the very day that he was to 
leave, his younger brother. Chandler, who was only ten years old, 
was drowned while playing at the Yarmouth wharf. Word was 
immediately sent to Bartlett, who was already aboard his vessel at 
East Boston, to give up sailing, but there was some delay in 
delivering the message and the " Mimosa " had already put to sea. 
She made a fast trip to Smyrna and with a large cargo on board 
started as usual on her homeward voyage. This was her last trip, 
as neither the vessel nor any of the crew were ever heard of again. The 
two nephews, Thomas Chandler Thacher and Lewis Bartlett Thacher, 
who are living in Boston to-day, were named after their uncles, who 
died so tragically in their youth. 




From a painting by Robert W . Salmon about 1840 



Chimed by Henry W . Cunningham 



BRIG "PICO" OF BOSTON 



Lying in the harbour of Fayal, with Pico Mountain in the distance. The "Pico" was 
owned by A. & C. Cunningham. 

36 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 



X - TV - f' 



Within a few years could still be seen in one of the windows of the 
office of A. & C. Cunningham, at 17 Rowe's Wharf, a round hole 
through which the two brothers, Andrew and Charles, members of 
this firm, used to place their old-fashioned spy-glass in order to watch 
their ships as they set sail for foreign shores, or to sight them as 
they came up the harbour to their berths. These two brothers were 
well-known Boston merchants and ship-owners, and were partners 
during most of the first half of the nineteenth century. The firm 
was founded in 1822, just after Charles Cunningham returned from 
Fayal, where he had married Roxa Dabney, the daughter of John 
Bass Dabney, the ceremony having been performed by the father of 
the bride in his capacity as consul. These two families, even up to 
the present time, have always been closely related both in marriage 
and business since the year 1783, when Charles's father, Andrew, 
and John Bass Dabney married two of the many daughters of Joseph 
Lewis of Dedham. 

This house traded to a large extent with Sicily and Italy, bringing 
home quantities of oranges and lemons, as well as macaroni and 
sulphur. It is surprising that Boston got as good fruit as it did in 
those days when one reads in the log books that some vessels took 
thirty days to come from Gibraltar. The firm also imported hemp 
from Russia, sending ships to Riga on the Baltic, and in the summer 
season to the port of Archangel, on the White Sea; logwood, indigo, 
and tortoise shell from Honduras; and from Fayal, through their rela- 
tives, the Dabneys, wine, fruit, and whale oil, the latter commodity 
being left at that port by Nantucket and New Bedford whalers. The 
firm also traded with the West Indies, Central and South America, 
and Cape Town, and during the later years imported teas from China. 

Both partners were men of very methodical business methods and 
were at their counting-room at seven o'clock in the morning, which 
was the custom of the day; in fact, they were typical representatives 
of the old-time merchants. The late Aaron Sargent, in a recent paper 
read before the Boston Society, on the old merchants of Boston, 
described Andrew and Charles as " dignified and severely polite." 
After the " Beacon " was removed and Beacon Hill was dug down 
to make room for the new State House, Mt. Vernon Street was laid out, 
and here were the residences of both the Cunninghams, Andrew re- 
siding at No. 25, behind the State House, and Charles at No. 48, near 
Walnut Street. 

Many fine vessels were owned or managed by these two merchants, 
including among others the ships " Morea," "Adrian," "Helen"; the 
barks "Francia," "Matilda," "Adelaide Metcalf," "Elizabeth Leavitt," 
"Fame," and "Peru"; the brigs "Spartan," "Boston," " Swiftsure," 
" Wave," and " Pico," the latter being shown in a cut on the opposite 
page. 

37 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

At the time of the death of Andrew Cunningham, in 1861, Captain 
John Codman, who had sailed many voyages for him, wrote a letter 
to a Boston paper, in which he paid warm tribute to his ability and 
sterling character, relating also the following incident in his career. 
Long before the days of cables, when much of the business in foreign 
ports was transacted by the captains, John Codman was about to 
set sail for China with a large cargo, and, as much money had recently 
been lost by Boston merchants in importing tea, he was especially in- 
structed not to invest in a pound for his return cargo. When the ship 
arrived in China conditions had so changed that tea seemed like the 
most promising purchase, and Captain Codman loaded his ship en- 
tirely with that product. When he arrived in Boston his cargo of tea 
showed a handsome profit, but Mr. Cunningham nevertheless called 
the captain into his private office and severely reprimanded him for 
disobeying orders. As he left the office, however, the old gentleman 
remarked that the voyage had been a successful one and handed 
Captain Codman, to his great surprise, an envelope containing a check 
for $1,000. 

Another one of the Cunningham captains was Jonathan Edwards 
Scott, who was well known in Boston. It is related of him that on 
one of his voyages to Boston he had lost both his anchors, and was 
afraid that any towboat which he took to bring him in might claim 
salvage, so he piled a lot of rubbish in the bows to hide the deficiency, 
and when the towboat hailed him and asked if he wanted a 
tow, he said he guessed not, adding that he thought he could sail up. 
" Well," said the towboat captain, " I'm going up anyway, and 
may as well take you up," and he named a very small sum. " All 
right," said Captain Scott, and threw out his line. When nearing the 
city the towboat hailed him to know where he wanted to anchor. 
Captain Scott replied, " Put me right in at Rowe's Wharf," which was 
done, and the captain thereupon paid his towage and took a receipt 
in full. Upon leaving the ship the towboat captain saw she had no 
anchors, and said, "Where are your anchors. Captain?" and when 
Scott told him he had lost them the other exclaimed, " Good Lord, 
Captain, if I had known that, I would not have towed you up for 
less than $500." 

In 1849 Charles Cunningham retired from business, and, as his 
brother's two sons, James Henry and Charles West Cunningham, had 
grown up and were ready to take a hand in the business, the younger 
members of the family were admitted as partners, the firm name being 
changed to A. Cunningham & Sons. At about the same time Charles 
Cunningham's son, named Frederic, formed a partnership with his 
cousin, Charles W. Dabney, Jr., under the name of Dabney & Cun- 
ningham, with offices at 59 Commercial Wharf, taking over a part of the 
business which the other firm had transacted with the Western Islands. 
Their vessels included " Harbinger," " Pomona," "Grampus," " Me- 
lita," " lo," " Mermaid," " Lotos," " Azor," " Fredonia," and " News- 
boy." Still another firm was Cunningham Brothers, which was com- 

40 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

posed of two nephews of Andrew and Charles Cunningham, John A. 
and Loring Cunningham, brothers of the late Edward Cunningham, 
who was an eminent merchant of China, and partner of Russell & Co. 
Mr. Edward Cunningham's place was in Milton, and the children 
thereabout were wont to wonder at the great Chinese dragons which 
served as gateposts at the entrance to his driveway. They were 
brought from China, were sunk on the way, but were recovered with 
great difficulty and landed in this country. 




From a painling 



THE KING'S YACHT 



Kindness of Chester Guild 



This graceful yacht was called "Kamehameha HI.," after one of the rulers of Hawaii and 
was fitted out by him as a man of war. She was sailed out to the Sandwich Islands by Cap- 
tain Fisher A. Newell of Boston, and was captured by the French a few years later. She was 
the pride of Hawaii, and was called "Kammey" by the islanders. The painting from which 
this picture is taken was brought from Honolulu to Boston by Captain Richard Mitchell of 
Nantucket, who landed at the Islands to ship home some whale oil. Captain Mitchell gave 
the painting to his son-in-law, Seth A. Fowle, who had it hung in his office for many years. 
It then descended to his cousin, Chester Guild, and it was through his kindness that it was 
possible to obtain this photograph. The studding sails on the foretop and foretop gallant 
yard are very unusual. Her Boston owners were Deming Jarvis, Benjamin Howard, and 
John D. Lambree. 



E. ATKIXS & CO. 

Elisha Atkins started in the Cuban business for himself in 1835. In 
1866, John W. Cummings, who had been his chief clerk for many 
years, was taken into partnership, forming the firm of E. Atkins & Co. 

The senior member, Mr. Atkins, was taken when a boy from Cape 
Cod, where the family had lived since 1639, to Roxbury, where his 
parents hoped there would be less chance of his being tempted to go 
to sea. In spite of this precaution he entered the office of Dennis 

41 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

Brigham on Rowe's Wharf, and went out as supercargo to Caracas 
on one of his employer's vessels, a few years later going into the sugar 
business for himself. 

In 1837, during the panic brought on by the failure of the United 
States Bank, his business was unprofitable. The following year the 
firm of Atkins & Freeman was formed, William F. Freeman being 
admitted as partner. The firm had offices on India Wharf, its neigh- 
bors being Thomas Wigglesworth, W. F. Cunningham & Co., George 
T. Lyman, Bullard & Lee, the Higginsons, R. B. Storer, W. Windsor 
Fay, E. A. Homer, B. Burgess, JVIinot & Hooper, Boardman 8c Pope, 
all well-known merchants of their day. To those offices the rich plant- 
ers came, and then spent their money at Saratoga Springs, and along 
the wharves could be seen cargoes from all parts of the globe. Here 
also were the consulates of Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and Russia. 
" Here," as described by William Howell Reed, who wrote the life 
of Mr. Atkins, " were the quaint old offices with their ancient furni- 
ture, the blazing open fires in winter, the pictured walls with ships 
sailing in every ocean, the models of favorite vessels, the courth- 
manners of the old merchant princes of that day, the counting-house 
decorum, the quiet respectability, the aroma of the lofts above packed 
with the merchandise of the East." 

R. G. Shaw & Co. once joined Mr. Atkins in making up a cargo 
on one of the earlier voyages, while Joshua Sears, one of the large 
retail purchasers of sugar in Boston, assisted occasionally in times of 
tight money. The first shipment to Cienfuegos was in 1843, at which 
port Columbus landed on his first voyage. There was little going on 
here at this time, Trinidad being the centre of business and society; 
but gradually this port grew, owing to the large amount of business 
transacted there by Mr. Atkins and Mr. Benjamin Burgess. In 
these early days the mills were run by oxen and were called '' Bull 
Mills." Mr. Atkins's letters home give a good idea of the life on the 
plantations. One letter describes a night spent on top of some sugar- 
boxes on board a very small vessel, while another one mentions his 
disgust on seeing for the first time a very pretty Cuban girl light a 
large cigar. 

In 1849 Mr. Atkins again conducted business alone, Mr. Freeman 
retiring. The business, however, continued to prosper, and his vessels 
visited not only Cuba, but the Windward Islands, St. Thomas, Ja- 
maica, Guatemala, and occasionally Rio Janeiro. Boston now became 
a great sugar market. John S. Emery, ship owner and broker, 
chartered over four hundred vessels to Mr. Atkins. It was at this 
period (1866) that Mr. Cummings was admitted to partnership. 

Some of the vessels owned were the well-known "Adelaide," " Chat- 
ham," " Marine," " Tom Corwin," " W. B. Stetson," "Jacinta," "Clo- 
tilda," and " Neptune," the latter being the favorite ship. A few of the 
shipmasters in whom Mr. Atkins took a great interest were Captains 
Burt, Bassford, Harding, and Beal. 

Mr. Edwin F. Atkins, the son of the founder of the business, was 
admitted to partnership in 1874, and is now the head of this well- 

43 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

known house, conducting the business with his son, Robert W. Atkins, 
who was taken into the firm in 1915, being the third generation in a 
business of over eighty years' standing, as commission merchants, 
planters, manufacturers, and refiners. 

The Bay State Sugar Refinery of Boston, owned and operated by 
E. Atkins & Co. for many years, entered the consolidation which com- 
prised man\' of the sugar refineries of the United States, then known 
as The Sugar Refineries Company, just before the death of Elisha 
Atkins in 1888; and Edwin F. Atkins later became prominent in the 
management of its successor, the American Sugar Refining Company. 

Elisha Atkins was considered one of the most capable merchants 
of his day. He was one of the builders of the Union Pacific Railroad 
and active in its management up to the time of his death. He was also 
connected with many enterprises, both in New England and through- 
out the West. 



ENOCH TRAIN 

Enoch Train was so popular with his employees that when he 
failed during one of the panics prior to the Civil War, one of his 
Portuguese stevedores, taking his own bank book, placed it on his 
employer's desk, saying, "Take it; I have made the money out of 
your ships." This anecdote well illustrates the fine relations that 
existed between himself and his employees, to whom he was always 
kind and considerate. He was likewise the soul of honor and integrity, 
and was generous and public-spirited in every worthy cause. Aaron 
Sargent in his " Recollections of Boston Merchants " best describes his 
popularity: "To receive a bow or a 'Good-morning' salute from 
Enoch Train, as, tall and erect and with manly step, he walked down 
State Street and along Commercial Street to his counting-room, was 
something not to be despised by any one, whether a merchant or one 
holding some other position in commercial Boston." He was also 
foremost among the merchant ship-owners of his day, and at one 
time owned the largest number of ships of any firm in Boston, 
thirty or more of his vessels plying between this port and Liverpool. 
Having been brought up in the hide and leather store of his uncle, 
Samuel Train, his earliest ventures after he went into shipping on 
his own account were in the Russian and South American trades, 
importing principally hides. A few years later, in 1844, he estab- 
lished the well-known Train line of packets to Liverpool, the first 
ship built being the " Joshua Bates," named after the American part- 
ner of Baring Brothers at that time. This vessel was built for him 
at Newburyport by the celebrated ship-builder, Donald McKay. Mr. 
Train was so much pleased with this first vessel and with the skill 
of the builder that on the day she was launched he said to McKay, 
"You must come to Boston; we need you, and if you want any 
financial assistance in establishing a shipyard let me know the amount 
and you shall have it." The rest is too well known to repeat. In 

44 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

rapid succession were launched the "Anglo Saxon," "Anglo Ameri- 
can," " Washington Irving," "' Ocean Monarch," " Parliament," " Star 
of the Empire," "Chariot of Fame," " Staffordshire," " Cathedral," 
and " John Eliot Thayer." The " Staffordshire " was lost at sea not far 
from this coast and many passengers were lost. It is stated that there 
were so few boats and panic-stricken people slung so desperately to 
the gunwales of the rowboats that one of the officers was obliged to 
chop off their fingers with a hatchet in order to save even a few of 
the passengers. Another ship, the " Ocean Monarch," was burned 
at sea with a loss of four hundred lives, and George Francis Train, 
a representative of the firm, in an account of his life, describes the 
pathetic scene he witnessed when the news was first announced in 
Boston. It was customary for the captain of each inward-bound 
\-essel as she approached her dock to shout from the rail the latest 
news. On this occasion the " Persia " under Captain Judkins was 
about to dock, and hundreds of people were waiting to hear tidings 
of some friend or vessel. The captain shouted the sad fate of the 
" Ocean Monarch " and within a few minutes the announcement 
was made in the Merchants Exchange. The Train firm on another 
occasion believed the " Gov. Davis," which ran on their Boston. 
New Orleans, Liverpool triangular route, had also been burned at 
sea, as word was received that " The ' Gov. Davis ' is burned up." 
While those in the counting-house were grieving over their losses of 
friends and cargo, another message was handed to them, changing 
the message to " The ' Gov. Davis ' is bound up." The vessel was safe 
in Boston Harbour and there was great rejoicing in the Train office. 
Another ship belonging to the firm, called " Break of Day," came into 
Boston Harbour on a winter's day without a spar standing. " The 
Chariot of Fame " was Train's favorite vessel, her master being 
Captain Knowles. She had a reading-room on her quarter-deck for 
cabin passengers, a great luxury in those days. 

Donald McKay also built for Mr. Train the " Flying Cloud," 
" Empress of the Seas," " Plymouth Rock," which was half-owned 
by George B. Upton, and the " Lightning." Some of Train's captains 
were Caldwell, Thayer, Murdock, Brown, Richardson, Howard, and 
Knowles. 

In 1855 the Boston & European Steamship Company was incor- 
porated, with Enoch Train, George B. Upton, Donald McKay, An- 
drew T. Hall, and James M. Beebe as sponsors, " for the purpose of 
navigating the ocean by steam." The plan was to build a splendid 
line of steamers, rivalling in every respect the well-known Collins 
line of New York, the English port to be Milford Haven in Wales. 
The remarks made by Enoch Train at that time are especially inter- 
esting to look back upon, as they show his ideas in regard to the 
steamship which was then just beginning to replace the sailing-ship. 
It had been expected that Train would oppose the suggested company, 
as being antagonistic to his own, but instead he was so broad-minded 
that he lent it the strength of his right arm, as he expressed it. 

45 








ustn AID inuriioi piciets. 

Snilinjr from Boston SomiBInnthly, and from Liverpool every W.wk 




i ...liograpl: from an nrigimil 



Kindness of Stephen G. Train 



TRAIN & CO.'S POSTER 

Showing the "StafTordsliirc" belonging to this line, also the flap of the firm, list of ships owned and 
map showing distances from Boston. This poster is rare. 



.\'0 Dh-UNKAJID HIT ALL EXTFJi 77/ A' KINGDOM OF GOD 



m 




L THE usDEKiiGNED, am pledged, and Jiuve covenanted with my Shipmates 
iiud other seaineii, wmprising tlie 

jailors' Jomc Cempcraiicc ^oticti), 

To abiindon, and pei'siiade others to abandon tlie use of Ardent Sfjkits. 

May God give me strengtii to keep thiis pledge inviolate, 
l^eceived of tlie Rev. Eli.iau Kelluog. Chaplain Sailor.-;' Home, Boirton. 



\m^^^ '^fk^g^'^ '^-i^^Mk 

Kindness oj J . Chany 

PLEDGE OF THE SAILORS' HOME TEMPERANCE SOCIETY 

Showing the Sailors' Home, and men on the wharf destroying barrels of rum. The remark, "You've 
given me many a broken head, and now I'll give you one," is amusing. 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS oj OLD BOSTON 

" There is a vast difference," he said, " between steam and sailing 
vessels." and steam would not interfere with his regular business, the 
transportation of coarse and weighty commodities, and passengers 
who could not afford the luxury of steam passage. A large committee 
was appointed, but the panic of 1857 put a stop to all plans. 

Frederic \V. Thayer, a partner at one time of Mr. Train, estab- 
lished an office in Liverpool. Later he and Mr. George Warren 
formed a partnership under the name of Thayer & Warren, succeed- 
ing to the business of Enoch Train & Co. At a still later date the 
name was changed again to the well-known firm of Warren & Co. 
This latter firm still flies the Train private signal, a red ground with 
a white diamond, and was one of the first houses to appreciate the 
commercial importance of iron screw steamers. 

Enoch Train at first had his counting-house at 37 Lewis Wharf, 
and later, about 1852, he bought Constitution Wharf for the use of 
his ships, moving his private office to State Street. 

The two cuts as the frontispiece of this pamphlet show in the 
first picture an Irishman in straitened circumstances carefulU' ex- 
amining one of Enoch Train & Co.'s shipping announcements of a 
sailing to Boston; the second one depicts the same individual about 
to return from Boston on the same line to the " Old Country," 
having become prosperous in the Ignited States. 




1 



Frnm a painting in the Nantucket Library 

THE "SAMUEL RUSSELL" 

Named after the founder of the house of Russell & Co., the largest of the American firms 
in China. The "Samuel Russell" was built in 1846 for .'\. A. Low & Co., was commanded for 
many years by Captain N. B. Palmer, and was lost off the Cape of Good Hope. She was one 
of the fastest clippers of her day. 

48 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 




ONE OF THE BEST KNOWN SHIPS OF BENJAMIN C. CLARK i CO. 



CAPTAIN ARTHUR H. CLARK 

Captain Arthur H. Clark quotes Thomas Appleton as saying that no 
Boston family was quite complete that could not claim at least one 
retired sea-captain! and if one examines the names of Boston cap- 
tains, one finds that this statement has much truth in it. Captain 
Clark had many friends in the same trade, and a list made by him 
furnishes further proof that Appleton was right in his assertion. 
Robert Adams, of the " Rocket " and " Golden Fleece," was a son 
of the Rev. Nehemiah Adams; John Boote succeeded Captain 
William C. Rogers in the " Witchcraft "; Robert Almy was captain of 
the " Nor' Wester "; Henry Sargent, of the '' Rockland," " Phantom," 
and " Emily C. Starr," was an elder brother of Daniel and Frank 
Sargent and Mrs. Goodwin Whitney and Airs. William Appleton of 
New York; Captain Gannett, of the ship "Benares," was a younger 
brother of the Rev. Dr. Gannett; Frank Haskell, who commanded the 
" Norseman," was an elder brother of Thomas and Frederick Haskell; 
Captain Frank Dale, who sailed the " Fleetwood," was a brother of 
Dr. Dale, and uncle of Eben Dale and Mary Dale, who married 
Colonel Charles TurnbuU; Putnam Upton, of the "Dragoon," was a 
son of George B. Upton, the well-known ship-merchant; James Dwight, 
of the " Cutwater " and " James Freeman Clarke," was a cousin of 
Howard and Wilder Dwight; and Montgomery Parker, captain of the 
ships " Judge Shaw " and " Lord Lyndhurst," was a son of Richard G. 
Parker. All of these names and many more were, according to Cap- 
tain Clark, the pride of Boston, and will go down on the records of 
the maritime history of the city. 

49 




From a photograph Courtesy of Captain Arthur H. Clark 

CAPTAIN ARTHUR H. CLARK 

A splendid seaman, good business man and excellent 
writer of maritime history. He is one of the last of 
the captains of the old school. His residence is in 
Brooklyn, N.Y., and he is the New York representa- 
tive of Lloyd's. 



SOME MERCHANTS a7id SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

Captain Clark, who is now Lloyd's representative in New York, 
has an extraordinary record as a Boston shipmaster. His first sailing 
experience was with small model yachts on the Frog Pond, which was 
opposite his father's house. No. 36 Beacon Street, and later he 
learned to navigate his father's yacht off Nahant. After leaving the 
Latin School he determined to adopt the sea as his calling, and 
shipped before the mast on the clipper " Black Prince " around the 
Horn to San Francisco, Manila, Foochow, and other distant ports. 
When this ship returned, two and one-half years later, he had been 
advanced to the position of third mate. He then became second 
officer of the famous "Northern Light," returning to the "Black 
Prince " as chief mate. In a short time he rose to be chief mate of the 
ship "J. C. Humphreys," then master of the "Agnes," and the 
" Verena," in the China trade. His next adventure was to command 
the yacht "Alice," only forty-eight feet long, on a voyage from Boston 
to England, one of his companions being Mr. Charles Longfellow, 
son of the poet. Up to this time this was the smallest yacht to cross 
the Atlantic and the first American yacht to sail from America direct 
to England. Upon his return to Boston, Captain Clark was appointed 
by J. M. Forbes & Co. to take the steamship "A. J. Ingersoll " to 
China. He subsequently commanded the " Manchu," " Suwo Nada," 
and " Venus " in the China Seas, and received a service of silver from 
American and British underwriters for his wonderful feat in bringing 
the " Suwo Nada," owned by Augustine Heard & Co., into Hong Kong 
in such a sinking condition that she sank in the graving dock 
before the gates could be closed, having struck an uncharted rock 
on the Chinese coast. Captain Clark subsequently commanded the 
American Mail S.S. " Indiana," between Philadelphia and Liverpool, 
and retired from the sea in 1877, but made one more ocean voyage in 
1894-1895 when he brought the steam yacht " Sylvia," owned by Com- 
modore Edward M. Brown of the New York Yacht Club, from Queens- 
town to New York during the months of December and January. 
This yacht was 138 tons gross. The "Alice" and "Sylvia" are the 
two smallest sailing and steam yachts respectively that have crossed 
the Atlantic under the burgee of the New York Yacht Club. Both 
made the passage in nineteen days. 

Captain Clark is a very familiar figure of the down-town shipping 
community of New York, and is one of the last of that fine type of 
gentleman sea-captains of the old school. He is not only a splendid 
seaman, but also a business man of sound judgment, and a writer of 
maritime history of first importance. He is the son of Hon. B. C. 
Clark, who was the founder of the firm of Benjamin C. Clark & Co. 
of Boston. This well-known house from 1830 to 1848 owned a number 
of clipper brigs and topsail schooners which were engaged in the West 
India coffee trade and the Mediterranean fruit and wine trade, 
some of these vessels being the " Sea Eagle," " Water Witch," 
" Silenus," " Red Rover," and " Sea Mew." Benjamin C. Clark built 
and owned the schooner yacht "Mermaid," which was then — 1832 — 
the first decked yacht owned in Boston, and a few years later he 

52 



SOME MERCHANTS and SEA CAPTAINS of OLD BOSTON 

built the " Raven," which won the cup in the first regatta sailed in 
Massachusetts Bay, at Nahant, on July 19, 1845. 



Oh, again to hear the Lascars' rousing "chanty" in the morn, 
When we broke away the anchor to sail home around the Horn! 
Oh, to see the white sails pulling, feel the lift beneath the keel, 
With the trade-wind's push behind her and the roll that made her reel! 

The old Clipper days are over, and the white-winged fleets no more, 
With their snowy sails unfolded, fly along the ocean floor; 
Where their house-flags used to flutter in the ocean winds unfurled, 
Now the kettle-bellied cargo tubs go reeling around the world. 

But 'twas jolly while it lasted, and the sailor was a man; 
And it's good-by to the Lascar and the tar with face of tan; 
And it's good-by mother, once for all, and good-by girls on shore; 
And it's good-by brave old Clipper-ship that sails the seas no more! 

{From Boston Transcript.) 



53 



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